One of the life lessons I value is my realization that the best form of advocacy I can provide as a person who experiences blindness is to learn and earn competence and confidence. When asked to share my top 5 resources and tools with you it was an easy and fun exercise. Here are my top 5 resources and tools that I would recommend to anyone who is blind or visually impaired:
1) The Future In Sight Team of Certified Professional Providers
The easiest way to learn is from someone who has already solved the problem. Our team of Occupational Therapists, Orientation and Mobility Specialists, Adaptive Technology trainers and Teachers of the Visually Impaired are a fundamental step to visit and revisit with each new challenge of sight, environment or opportunity! Learn more about the services we provide to adults and youth who are blind and visually impaired.
2) “Be My AI” on the “Be My Eyes” App
AI descriptions of any photo past or present provide me with a robust understanding of any image in the most powerful fashion I’ve ever experienced. AI can provide descriptions whether you’re evaluating a room, reading a menu, a map or a document. From my experience, AI can take any image from a sunrise to a Swirl antic and transform it into a detailed, accessible format instantly!
3) “Blind Square” GPS App
“Blind Square” is a GPS application which I fortunately added when it was still free. I can’t speak to the cost aspect, but the ability to pre-learn a route or to get real time updates on streets and locations around me is a great support to working with my guide dog Swirl.
4) Reminders App
In the productivity department, I utilize the Reminders App on both my Apple Watch and iPhone. Reminders can be useful when repeating events or even one-shot tasks that I want to confirm happen in a timely fashion. I find it helpful when my tools all collaborate to make a seamless experience of support to my work.
5) AfterShokz Bone Conductive Headphones
These headphones allow my ears to be free to experience all essential ambient noise around me, from traffic to meeting conversations. Simultaneously I receive stereo high quality sound from my computer, phone or watch in a fashion that allow me to read an agenda, take notes or listen to a training – all without detriment to my safety or connection to the world around me.
Of course this whole list pales in comparison to the 24-hour support I receive from my guide dog Mr. Swirl who helps me avoid obstacles, find essential landmarks and perhaps most powerfully act as the ice-breaker for crucial connections.
Did you know that we provide training, tools and resources to individuals of all ages who are blind and visually impaired and even offer a full calendar of activities? If you or someone you love is experiencing vision loss and could benefit from our services, please contact Future In Sight at [email protected] or 603-224-4039 today!
About the Author: Randy Pierce is the President & CEO at Future In Sight.